Dec 28, 2012

thats it for 12

well 2012 draws to an end, we'll see what 13 holds? fiscal cliff? recovery? rates? inflation? right now rates are at almost historical lows, inventory has started to reduce, prices are starting to stabilize even more and actually go up some- banks still have not gotten the short sale down, banks also don't have the incentive to move properties as some are still getting incentives to hold the properties but all in all there appears to be light- lets hope its not a train!!! come on 13.....

Nov 26, 2012

What are you waiting for?

well we now have the fiscal cliff looming but rates have still held- not sure how long the federal government can continue to buy bonds and keep the rates low - we keep hearing rates cant go up cant afford it - but there will be a time when the lenders will want their money and as things improve whether slow or quicker rates will go up fast. if you buy now and lock in at unbelievable 15 and 30 yr fixed rates you got CHEAP money. yes you may not get for your house what you would have several years back but your not going to pay what you would have for that move up house that you would have years ago. if you sit on the fence too long you may just end up with a fence post in the wrong spot!!!!

Nov 8, 2012

The Morning After

It's over the no more phone calls, TV ads, radio ads, mailers, talking heads etc. - now what? time to watch. without getting on a soap box some issues that may affect you: homeowner interest deduction- talk of getting rid of this, one of the incentives to own your own home - build equity save on taxes.  capital gains talk of increasing the rate on gains this also affects the housing market - if investors have to pay over 50% on the gain it takes away the incentive of buying - so more houses on the market more vacant- more distressed lower housing values. Regulations - one of my favorite - first we had to increase the number of people who could buy houses, now new guidelines, regulations, laws every day - have a client who wants to get a $40,000 mortgage wants to put a good chunk down bank cant do the loan because it now falls under high cost loan and the bank can't do it on regular terms, another client has a line of credit on his house wants to take a out a long term mortgage with 50% equity has to pay a higher rate because that is now a cash out refiance to pay the bank back and take a mortgage out. VA talking about seller not being able to pay as much closing costs - want the banks to do it but they can't pick up that amount goes against the guidelines, veterans who deserve a break especially when they all come home may be punished even more than the sacrifice they have already made? almost every economist says the real estate industry and housing is the cornerstone of our economy... ????

Sep 27, 2012


Thought this might help ease some of the frustration in the general market.  Rates are unbeleivable we are seeing 15yr in the 2's and 30 yr in the 3's so a lot of homeowners are refinancing which is good but sme tips to help:
- talk with your realtor or someone who is knowledgeable so you can get a good trustworthy lender who delivers what they promise, your realtor deals with this everyday so they know who knows what they are doing and who doesn't
- be patient of course "big brother" has gotten involved in the process so even lendes who did nothing wrong are now dealing with the consequences of the fiasco- rules change mid stream, your loan may get called for review which may slow things, down, everything has to be reviewed and proven, so be ready for the paperwork and the things you have to provide - and provide them in a timely fashion.
- PLEASE LISTEN- your lender should tell you DONT OPEN ANY NEW CREDIT WHILE THE PROCESS IS GOING ON - this appies to buying or refinanacing - what you may not understand is when you go buy furniture or whatnot for your new home or with what you are saving and the store gives you a great deal on same as cash- THIS IS NEW DEBT- and its the worst kind if you buy $2000 worth of goods they give you a credit limit of $2000 you now have a MAXED credit limit this not only adds to your debt limit but it cuts your credit score we have been told that you dont want to have more than about 30% of available limit used. 
- follow these simple rules and you can save a lot of money - these rates CAN"T last

Aug 27, 2012


here we go again with big brother "helping us", the newest babble to spew out of Washington is that now we are going to make Short sales easier. well you may say that sounds like a good thing- IT DEFINITELY IS NOT!!!! now I will admit the process needs to be worked on, but to make it easier even if you are not behind or late, or really needing one is just plain stupid. When I got into real estate you could go to the bank on Monday talk with a rep and probably close on Friday and most people because they had to see the banker or live in the community didn't renege on the promise they made to pay back the money they borrowed, now we go through 2 months of intense scrutiny and then people close and then change their minds on responsibility - and yes we see people who say I am moving back - people aren't as friendly here or gas is high, or the grass is greener in Maryland- which not only affects the credit of the borrower but the rest of the neighborhood suffers- yeah they tell us appraisers don't take those into account but that's bull----, and now to make it easier and to say that the second lender and third lender will have no say in the short sale process and we will just hand out 6000 to the junior lenders - great more wasted money - just do away with it go right to foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure - why try to save the credit everything is based now days on your credit but we keep encouraging people not to keep their promises - I guess that way we are more like the politicians that make promises- give the public more reasons to default.....

Jun 28, 2012

Rules Rules Rules

Yep the public is still not able to take care of itself- as evidenced in past postings with intermediaries for appraisals etc, the problem is someone is sitting around thinking up new ways to protect us from ourselves.  The problem with these changes is they are enacted by people who must not be involved in the homebuying process - changes happen and even though one set of rules was in place when a transaction was started new ones get put in place and now the buyer and seller who were already under way get derailed because the rules they were playing under got changed.  It is far too common for a buyer and seller to be a day or two out from settlement everything on the truck and a new rule or red flag pops up, - i.e someone getting 2 pensions you would think as far up our behinds as the lenders look now they might have picked that up in the beginning of the mortgage process or VA realizing that a verteran actually got a job after getting out of the service and now they have to check if that is legal? or getting an appraisal done on a new house building the house and now you have to get another appraisal and instead of saving the buyer money and letting the original appraiser check conditons and reissue gotta get a whole new one.  The days of you have a pulse you get a mortgage were bad but this is getting far worse...

Jun 1, 2012

the pit and the pendulum

for those of you reading this that remember the mortgage industry and real estate in 2005-2007 you may understand the title of this post a little better, for those who don't: A bunch of really "smart" politicians decided that home ownership should increase- never mind that the US had one of the highest home ownership rates in the world, so programs such as no DOCS were created along with lower guidelines and standards - the No DOC was my personal favorite - you tell us what you earn and we'll trust you and loan you money... fast forward 2008 to present a "few" loans went into foreclosure - and despite being on tape and youtube and a myriad of other places that proved our fearless leaders did this they cried out " we need to regulate" so along comes Dodd/Frank and other helpful programs. so we went from a system where an appraisal cost $350 to a system with a middle man - this kept the bad lenders and Realtors from influencing appraisers cost went for the home buyer up to $700 on average. and now instead of being able to use local appraisers who know the market and the schools and such some appraisal desk in the Midwest would assign an appraiser to a house in york county with an appraiser from 2 counties away. imaging the concept of government adding a layer and cost to the home buying process- which I hear over and over again the real estate market is essential to the country's health? so now we went form if you had a pulse you got a mortgage to - hey your grandma spent too much money ad banks that are afraid and appraisers - not all but a lot- who have been beaten into submission and when an appraiser does find value then an underwriter pops up and says "I'm not sure I like these comps" - long story short the pendulum has swung and its not helping us get out of the pit.

Apr 27, 2012

Short sales / Distressed properties

Mike Wheeler and myself, Bob Argento, have taken the courses and received our CDPE designation- Certified Distressed Property Expert. After extensive class time and case study we now have the tools to better assist the clients of the Sold Team. What we did learn is that not everyone can qualify for a short sale - there are criteria that must be met, and also the process of dealing with the lenders to effectively execute the short sale- what paperwork, what inspections, and what negotiating techniques are essential to avoid foreclosure and get the property sold at short sale, we also gained more of an insight to programs that may be available to homeowners to avoid the short sale and refi their existing mortgages. It is frustrating that some real estate professionals list homes list them a s a short sale when they do not qualify , or then take an offer and do not prepare the correct package for submittal there by dragging the process out longer and still ending in foreclosure- costing the seller further credit damage, delaying a willing and able buyer and worse yet costing the banks and additional 30-50% on the cost of the lost amount.

Mar 26, 2012

Thank you

Since facebook got to this faster than I could, this seems a little late but we wanted to thank everyone; our lenders, our title people, our support team, and most of all the customers for making the Sold Team the #1 team for Pennsylvania as awarded by Century 21. Even through the "tough" times we have maintained with all your help our #1 Standing. It is very humbling when we get accolades from you our clients and even more so from the Real estate professionals themselves. so Thanks again and here's to an even greater 2012

Mar 5, 2012


Well in my January blog I alluded to signs of improvement, and it has continued we are seeing more houses sold, less on the market, the short sale fervor has calmed somewhat - the banks are still not handling them as well as they should so buyers have grown tired of the waiting and the process, some banks are doing a better job but we are still seeing 3-5 months in some cases to get an answer back. Rates are still really low even though rates have gone up somewhat due to fees being charged to buyers and refinancers that are being paid to the treasury to make up for payroll taxes but that didnt seem to get a lot or any press and my fear is when they do "fix" payroll tax they wont repeal the fee being charged - they never pull back once they are getting it. but in spite the market has improved lets hope it continues.

Jan 2, 2012

2012 New Year

January 2, 2012: well we are still here and see signs of improvement cash buyers, investors, new construction, rentals etc. rates are still unbeleivably low not sure how long that can remain that way. And the distressed properties are finding their way to investors and selling at a decent pace. It is still troubling that some "experts" are telling people you cant offer list price- when the better agents have already taken into account the drop in prices and time frames, the comparables have to be taken into account because in some cases we are seeing artificial drops due to sentiment of no matter what the list is go less... and we still have to work on appraisals there needs to be some continuity... there used to be a guidleline for appraisers for value of certain items i.e. brick, extra garages, level of finish, etc. but all in all we look forward to a great 2012